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  • Clipper Race 2017/18 - Charlie's Voyage - Leg 3, week 2

Clipper Race 2017/18 - Charlie's Voyage - Leg 3, week 2

In this blog, Charlie reflects on a tiring week of sailing upwind, welcoming Greenings crew members and treating her team.
Clipper race leg 3 week 2

Well what can I tell you about this week?

Not much has changed. We have spent the entire week sailing upwind, it really does take all your energy and strength. With such a heel that the rail has been in the water up to 80% of the time and the toe rail (wooden slats at the very edge of the deck) has been in the water 100% of the time. We have stayed on the same tack all week with very little sail changes meaning that watches have been spent sitting for 4/6 hours in the cold and sometimes wet, you can tell who has done more than one Leg onboard as we no longer flinch when a wave cascades over the deck and soaks us. Yet when on land we all shy away from the rain!

A tired and wet Safety Officer

Due to the fact that we have stayed on the same tack our netting on the port side has taken some abuse from the water pounding through it, leading to the lashings holding it in place coming undone and repairs needed. Thus, meaning a venture onto the foredeck; now while on one hand this is a good thing as it's a task to keep you busy, on the other-hand it means getting thrown about the foredeck like a rag doll and slammed by waves forcing you down the deck. A task that as safety officer I undertook (Typhoon drysuit was a must wear) until I felt it was no longer safe or effective to continue, one step forward and five steps back makes for slow work and a rather tired and wet Charlie.


Clipper Race Charlie and Luke attempt to fix netting


A week of upwind sailing means frayed tempers

Although on this leg, we are (I think) getting great practice at tolerance for each other. We are all tired from the upwind sailing, crashing into and through the waves has taken its toll which does lead to a few frayed tempers and a few snaps now and again. But I'm glad to say that most of the time we know not to bite back and an apology generally always appears a little while later even better yet we have learnt to laugh about most things – without humour we surely would be a lost cause!


Welcome aboard, Greenings crew

But fear not it's not all doom and gloom I promise! This week has also brought the news of new crew in the form of our foster family, Greenings, we shall be adopting two RTW (Round the World) and two Leggers as part of the Dare To Lead crew. Especially exciting is the fact that we get another female RTW'er thus taking our numbers to three! What the male RTW'ers have yet to realise is that on the next leg we shall have a total of eight females, what a force we shall be! I for one cannot wait as it'll mean the heads should stay cleaner! So many stories, so little time.


If you want treats, you must work for them

I've also taken to attempting to entertain my watch, not only do I produce various sweet treats from my foulie pockets but I make them work for it. For example, if they want a strawberry lace first they must tie a bowline in it. The only downside is the grown men are rather less willing to engage in a little silly fun compared the 14-19yo female trips that I do with RSP, Rona Sailing Project. Don't worry though, I shall win them round eventually! Not sure they are quite ready for a sing-a-long yet?


Still searching for the westerlies

We were promised that today will be the day that the westerlies finally appear and we can hoist our spinnaker to enjoy the famous downwind sailing the Southern Ocean offers, so far, I've yet to see any indication that this will be happening today. Fingers crossed that after my five hours sleep I'll awake to a flatter boat. I fear that we may be too far north at present but we shall see, they have to appear at some point, right?!


For now, we shall continue on towards the warmth of Fremantle, best guess is that we have approximately a week and a half to go. Let’s hope that this time we'll make our arrival in daylight and without the rain!


Until next week,




This blog was written by Charlie Garratt, Clipper 2017/18 Crew Member and 3Si Ocean Safety Ambassador.


See previous blogs here